Keeping up with your family schedule can be a bit of a roller coaster, but getting your kids to eat right and maintain good oral hygiene should always be a top priority. Here are a few oral health tips that will help you protect your child and their developing teeth from long-term damage and avoidable mishaps.
Keep Up Healthy Oral Habits
No matter how eventful the upcoming months become, supervise their brushing routine twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Whether your child is staying up late to watch fireworks or catch fireflies, resist the temptation to let him/her skip brushing before bedtime or early in the morning.
Parents can find ways to encourage their kids to brush by making it fun. For example, buying a new, cartoon, or Disney-themed toothbrush to replace the old and worn out one sitting in the cup can spice up your child’s oral health routine. Simple things like colorful brushing calendars or setting a timer or playing a song while your child brushes their teeth can help everyone stay on track. It’s recommended that you schedule your child’s appointments every three to six months to ensure all that brushing and flossing is paying off!
Keep Healthy Snacks and Drinks in Stock
It’s common for kids to sip and snack, but prevent an “acid attack” on your child’s teeth by investing in healthy snacks and drinks. It can be hard to limit snacking when the kids are home all day, but with the availability of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, you can stock the fridge with healthy options. Be sure to keep these foods ready to grab and go. You’ll feel better about snacking when the kids are reaching for blueberries and strawberries instead of candy and cookies. Swap out the sugary, acidic soft drinks like soda and Gatorade with bottled water.
Prevent a Dental Emergency, Wear Proper Sports Gear
Between swim lessons, bike riding, baseball, gymnastics, and other outdoor activities, sometimes dental injuries can happen.
Parents can be prepared by following these simple tips:
- Ensure that your child follows the “pool rules.” According to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.
- Champion a dental emergency. Getting to the dentist right away is important, and there are things you can do to help. Use warm water and cold packs first, to clean the area and reduce swelling, respectively. Use gauze to stop any bleeding. Place a lost permanent tooth back in the mouth, if possible. If not, use salt water or milk to keep it moist for the ride to the dentist.
- Pack a dental first-aid kit for vacation. Essentials for this kit, according to the AAPD, are a handkerchief, gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information.
Summer can really throw your routine for a loop but by following these oral health tips for summer, your kids can start the school year with great oral hygiene.
Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)
Ready to get your child’s smile on track?